Minister’s Order to Transfer N585 Million Public Funds to Private Account Sparks Debate and Legal Scrutiny

Minister’s Order to Transfer N585 Million Public Funds to Private Account Sparks Debate and Legal Scrutiny

Introduction:

A letter obtained by SaharaReporters reveals that Dr. Betta Edu, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, solicited the Accountant General to transfer public funds to a private account.

Defense Statement:

Rasheed Zubair, the Minister’s Special Assistant on Media, clarified that the payment of N585.198 million was lawful, intended for vulnerable groups, and routed through Oniyelu Bridget, the project accountant.

Details of the Request:

The Accountant General was asked by Dr. Edu, in a December 20, 2023, letter, to deposit over N585 million into a specific private account related to grants for vulnerable groups across four states.

Purpose of the Fund Allocation:

The Minister’s spokesperson emphasized that the allocated N585.198 million aimed to support vulnerable populations in Lagos, Ogun, Cross River, and Akwa Ibom states.

Official Explanation:

The Minister’s office defended the allocation, stating it was part of the Renewed Hope Grant for Vulnerable Groups (GVG), designed as a federal social intervention scheme implemented by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.

Clarification on Recipient and Procedure:

Oniyelu Bridget, identified as the Project Accountant for GVG, received the funds legally in line with civil service regulations, with plans to use and account for the money upon project completion.

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